"In all the wild imaginings of mythology a fanciful spirit is playing on the boarder-line between jest and earnest." Johan Huizinga
Scholar, Author, and Other Things
Welcome to my blog and website!
I am an American religious historian who specializes in religion and sports, religion in the American South, and civil religion. My book Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era won the 2012 Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award from the Florida Historical Society. I am currently writing a religious history of sports in America.
In addition to writing in scholarly journals and edited volumes, I have published popular pieces for the Christian Century, Christianity Today, the Marginalia Review of Books, Sojourners, and the Washington Post. For a decade, I was the managing editor and book review editor for the Journal of Southern Religion. From 2013-16, I hosted an interview podcast for the Marginalia Review of Books.
Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time with my family and distance running. I have run 15 marathons, but lately have preferred racing shorter distances, from the half-marathon to the mile.
On this blog, I talk quite a bit about distance running, as well as topics related to teaching, writing, and even my unhealthy relationship with college football. While the posts are quite random, I do aspire to abide by the title of the blog--to situate my words somewhere "between jest and earnest." Academics like myself tend to both over-emphasize how funny they are, while at the same time taking themselves WAY too seriously.
In this space, then, I try to find a balance between these two extremes. Am I successful? Of course not. But I might as well keep at it.
For more about me, please check the other pages on this website. Please also feel free to email me with questions, comments, requests, etc.